As part of its recent review of car park charges, Selby District Council has agreed to put in place free parking at all its pay and display car parks during the two Saturdays before Christmas - for both this year and next.
The move comes as the Council's Executive agreed to a new pricing structure for car parks, following three years of frozen charges to support traders through the economic downturn.
Whilst charges have been increased, they remain some of the lowest in Yorkshire, and the increases are slight: for example, just 10p extra for one hour's short stay parking and just a 20p increase for three hours' long stay parking; this at a time when the cost of running car parks has increased significantly.
All of the Council's pay and display car parks have been awarded 'Parkmark' status, which is an industry quality standard given only to those car parks which have certain safety and security features.
The decision to offer free parking on the two Saturdays before Christmas for two years is designed to support local businesses. Selby District Council's Executive member for Communities, Cllr Chris Metcalfe, explained, "Our charges are extremely low anyway, but having listened to local traders during the recent consultation on charges, I'm convinced that this will be a real boost for our businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
"This is a very positive step we can take to support our retailers at their most important time of year.
"Our district has a lot to offer shoppers including a wide range of small independent shops alongside the bigger stores. We want to bring visitors into the area and encourage residents to shop local too. That's why overall our normal charges remain low even after these small increases, with this extra boost of free parking ahead of Christmas too."
The decision of the Executive is subject to call-in. It is anticipated, however, that the changes to normal car park charges will be introduced later this autumn. Full details of the new charges can be found within the agenda for the Council's Executive meeting held on Thursday 6 October: click here for details.